AS it goes to recruit 15,000 additional policemen this year, the Philippine National Police leadership is not only pushing for a new law that will allow the entry of college undergraduates or those with at least 72 collegiate units into the force but is also batting for the enactment of a law which will lower the age and height requirement for PNP applicants.
In line with its program to produce quality policemen that will beef-up the war on drug, criminality on the streets and terror in the countryside, the PNP leadership headed by Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ M. dela Rosa has also recommended that the height and age requirement for applicants be amended to at least 18 years of age, which is consistent with the Labor Code of the Philippines.
According to National Police Commission Vice Chairman Rogelio Casurao, the Napolcom has already approved the recruitment of 14,448 new Police Officers 1. He said that the PNP will recruit 10,000 policemen under the regular recruitment quota and 4,484 under attrition recruitment as provided under Resolution 2017-321 approved last June 2.
Casurao said the attrition recruitment quota aims to replenish personnel losses because of retirement, separation from service or death as a result of actual police operations or while fighting armed criminals and terrorists or as a result of sickness.
The recruitment would also improve peace and order in areas covered by PNP regional and national support offices. Casurao said 9,360 of the new recruits would be distributed to various regional police offices while the rest will be deployed to the PNP Maritime Group, the PNP Headquarters Support Service, the PNP Information Technology Management Service, the Police-Community Relations Group, the PNP Aviation Security Group and the PNP Women and Children’s Protection Center.
During the 16th Congress, Senator Gregorio B. Honasan II introduced Senate Bill No. 214 which repels the minimum height requirement for applicants to the PNP, the Bureau of Fire Protection and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.
Honasan said that while the Philippine Constitution affirmed the principles of employment non-discrimination, heightism or discrimination based on height is a reality today that has been practiced among law enforcement agencies, evidently oblivious to the fact that Napoleon Bonaparte’s ‘altitude problem’ was neither a hindrance to his performance as a general nor a drawback to the feat of Asians who have proven their worth in war and peace though they may be shorter than their Western counterparts.
The PNP Directorate for Plans (PNP-DPL) headed by Director Edwin C. Roque said that the lowering of age requirement is in consonance with the PNP’s proposal of accepting K-12 graduates in the organization.
“Normally, a person will graduate from K-12 at the age of 18 years old. Hence, in order to pursue the objectives of the program of employing those persons who haven’t finished college but were able to finish K-12, it is but rational to lower the age requirement from 21 years old to 18 years old,” the PNP-DPL said.
When it comes to the proposal to lower the height requirement, the PNP-DPL cited a study conducted by the Association of Southeast Asian DNA which showed that the average height of a male Filipino is 5 feet 3 inches while an average Filipina stands at 4’11”.
The PNP-DPL said that while some studies and observations show that height is indeed a factor in a workplace, still, there is not material proof that would relate one’s height in his work performance.
Height is not a big factor in performing police functions, the PNP-DPL said.
The PNP-DPL also said that history would show that height is not a factor in determining one’s ability to lead and command people.